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00 Flour for Pasta Dough

Is 00 Flour better than all purpose for homemade pasta dough? Do you know a good source (good price??) for this in San Francisco, Berkeley or Peninsula?

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  1. Berkeley Bowl has 00 flour that makes great fresh pasta provided you follow a recipe written with 00 pasta flour in mind.

    There are many kinds of 00, not all are appropriate for fresh pasta.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I found a very small, expensive bag of Ital brand 00 at Andronico and just used the Hazan recipe that calls for all purpose flour. What recipe do you use?

      1. re: walker

        00 is just the grind size; any protein content can be 00. Batali says, "Soft wheat flour, does however, produce the tender pasta at the heart of Emilia-Romagna's cuisine. Hard wheat flour, conversely, is lower in starch and higher in protein and gluten, producing firm and resilient pasta and superior bread. Durum wheat is high in gluten and is usually ground into semolina, a slightly coarser flour used in pasta production, particularly in the South of Italy. When purchasing flour, look at the nutrition panel for the protein content, which is listed in grams per pound."

        Essentially, for thin tender ethereal pasta, I've found the pastry flour in the bulk bins at Rainbow Grocery to be perfect. For everyday pastas I just use all purpose. For rustic pastas with a rougher texture and thicker noodles, I mix in 1/3 or even 100% semolina, again from the bulk bin at Rainbow Grocery. Sometimes I experiment with hard winter wheat Durum (bulk bins), which I think is similar in protein/gluten to semolina but more finely ground if I want a finer texture.

        As a home cook, you should start with all purpose; then try some with lower protein cake or pastry flour (might use less liquids per cup of flour). Then try some semolina, using liquid according to feel, and don't do it when you have guests coming because the rougher texture makes it harder to handle and the first time you aren't guaranteed results that are worth the effort.

        1. re: SteveG

          In my experience, 00 pasta flour gives better results than American all-purpose, and using part semolina will give you the opposite effect of using 00 pasta flour, but those are topics for the Home Cooking board.

          1. re: SteveG

            Update: I thought Berkeley Bowl would have 00 in bulk but they only had those small Ital bags, $2.29 - so, it's cheaper than Andronico. I called Rainbow re bulk 00 and they have it for .99cents lb so that sounds good. I was looking for White Lily flour for cupcakes and it seems Andronico carries it.

      2. Rainbow Grocery in SF sells 00 italian flour

        1. 9:00am-8:00pm, seven days.

          Golden Natural Foods. 130 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114
          between Market and Duboce across from the Market St. Safeway

          1. The Pasta Shop in Berkeley (both) sells 00 flour.

            1. I've bought it at Rainbow to make pizza. Results were good, but the flour was definitely expensive (can't remember exactly how much) and it is imported (I've been trying to do the local foods thing for a while), so I haven't used it more than that one time.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pane

                Generally you want a different type of 00 for pizza (higher protein) than for pasta (lower).

              2. Hey, folks, it sounds like this thread is brewing up some really interesting discussion of what types of flours are best for what types of food. While where to find certain types of flour is on topic for this board, the general 'what flour should I use for pasta vs. bread' conversation would be best over on our Home Cooking board, where hounds from all over the country will get a chance to see and benefit from it.

                So if you've got local sources for pasta flour, great, go ahead and post them. But if you've got recipe discussion or tips on what flour to use for what, please start a new thread on Home Cooking. We'd hate to see people miss out on that conversation because they're looking in the wrong spot.

                1. Lucca's Ravioli on Valencia and 22nd has 00 flour, too.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: scarmoza

                    Thanks. Do you think I should use all 00 or 1/2 that and 1/2 unbleached all purpose?

                    1. re: walker

                      Try it with all 00 flour. It will be one of the smoothest doughs you've ever rolled. Lucca's sells 00 flour in small 500 gram packages. The price used to be a bit over a dollar, I'm sure it's gone up but should be less than $1.50.

                      1. re: scarmoza

                        I think I paid about $2.79 for the little Ital brand pkg at Andronico. I'll try to get it in the bulk section at either WF or Rainbow. Do you use 2 eggs for 3 cups flour? Any olive oil and/or water? Ever try putting extra yolks?

                  2. Bi-Rite Market near Dolores Park also has it.

                    Bi-Rite Market
                    3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. Lucca in the Marina (on chestnut) carries it, as well as Mastrelli's at the Ferry Building. Good luck!

                      1. Anyplace in the East Bay currently selling Italbrand 00 (light blue bag)? The Bowl and Pasta Shop have both stopped carrying it.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I have not seen 00 flour in the East Bay recently. I get mine from a great source that has 00 for pasta, another for pizza, etc. Though, honestly, I can't really tell the difference, I've used both and mixed and matched. But decent (King Arthur, Bob's, etc) unbleached white does a decent job. I studied pasta making in Bologna...rolling with a meter-long rolling pin, and have had similar results with all of these. Of course in Bologna, they use 00, but I don't recall it being a pasta-specific 00. Just don't use semolina or any other hard wheat flour.

                          Here's the link to my mail order source:

                          1. re: sambamaster

                            The Bowl has Caputo 00 bread flour. The Pasta Shop has three or four kinds, but not Italbrand.

                            1. re: sambamaster

                              Monterey Market has 00 flour in their bulk bins. One for pizza and another for pasta. It's an Italian-sounding brand and only $1.19/lb.

                          2. Monterey Market still has both pasta and pizza Caputo 00 for $1.19. Bowl has none. Market Hall Pasta Shop and Star have Caputo pizza only.